Top 10 Dark Rides

Welcome to an Incrediblecoasters Top 10 List. When we list stuff, we actually explain why. Dark Rides. Dark Rides may not be the main focus of Incrediblecoasters or most people when they think of going to an amusement park, but the General Public knows about the dark ride and in most cases, will expect a dark ride to be at the amusement park they visit. While the first dark rides appeared in the 20s, they were never really special. The first dark rides that ever appeared in any amusement parks were mostly old ghost trains, cheap haunted houses, and stuff like that. While they were fun and still represent the old fashioned classic dark ride, they still never really became the official standard for being a dark ride. That didn't happen until 1955, when Disneyland officially opened up. Disneyland not only reinvented the theme park, but it also invented what we all know as the Fantasyland Dark Ride, in which the ride moves along a track and sees anamatronics. These types of dark rides exploded in the Disney Industry, containing several Fantasyland Dark Rides in all of their parks, and hell, they're still adding more Fantasyland Dark Rides to this very day.

And once the Fantasyland Dark Ride came, the list of types of dark rides just exploded. Along with the Fantasyland Dark Ride, Water was introduced to the dark ride with the Jungle Cruise ride at both Disneyland and the Walt Disney World Resort as the first boat ride to be turned into a dark ride. The idea to make a traditional fantasyland dark ride, but instead of using a traditional dark ride track, but rather use a boats and fill a track with water was first used on It's a Small World in 1966. Small World was such a success that the next year, Disneyland opened up yet another Disney Classic Dark Ride, Pirates of the Carribean, which also featured boats and a water rather than an a track. Later in the 90s, the first shooting dark ride appeared at Silver Dollar City as Flooded Mine (Fun Dark Ride BTW). While the Shooting Dark Ride didn't catch on at first, the soon spread like Wildfire, appearing at Disney Parks, Universal Parks, and even Six Flags and Cedar Fair Parks now have shooting dark rides. And then there are just several other crazy fun dark rides. But which dark rides are the best? Here's a Top 10 List to show you.




















Forbidden Joruney @
Universal Studios Hollywood
Studio City, California, U.S.A

All right. Now this dark ride has become extremely popular. It's been spreading like wildfire at all the Universal parks because of the Harry Potter fetish that they have. And while I'm not a huge fan of Harry Potter. It's a good franchise. I liked the books, and the movies were pretty good. But I'm just not a Potterhead like the rest of my family. I'm the one who likes Harry Potter the least. And believe me. I can go on about how the Harry Potter obsession has damaged the Universal parks (Don't get me started on Universal Orlando. DON'T GET ME F*CKING STARTED ON WHAT HARRY POTTER DID TO THAT F*CKING PARK!!!). But while I can complain a lot about the effect that Harry Potter has had on the Universal parks, one positive change is that it gave us Forbidden Journey. I mean...this dark ride uses Robot Arm technology! It uses the exact same technology that is used on Knights Tournament. So the fact that it uses the same technology that gave us a Top 10 Flat Ride is impressive enough. Now don't go in expecting Level 5 flipping. You won't get it. It's fairly mild. However, Forbidden Journey did do one thing that no other ride, of any kind (Roller Coaster, Dark Ride, Flat Ride, etc) has been able to do. It actually made me feel nauseous. I don't know how that's possible! It's FAR from the craziest thing I've ever rode. The motion is pretty mild by Robot Arm standards. But somehow, it did it! The ride itself is a big mish mash of Harry Potter, having you fly through a Quidditch Match, fight off Dementors, and get attacked by the Whomping Willow that appears in the Chamber of Secrets when Harry & Ron crash the flying car into it. It's a fun little mesh for the Potterhead in you. Forbidden Journey. Magic may not be real, but this ride is still a lot of fun.




















Maus au Chocolat @
Brühl, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

While there sadly aren't very many rides that are using the Toy Story Mania technology, the ones that are are absolutely incredible. Take Maus au Chocolat @ Phantasialand in Germany. This ride is just absolutely fantastic. Its not really a shooting dark ride as you're not shooting as much as just shooing out all of the mice in the bakery (Sorry Remy). And yeah. I really like that theme. Its all really well done and is actually a challenge. Yeah, my score sucked on this ride. But I honestly don't care. Its just so much fun a you're out in all the rooms getting rid of all the hungry hungry mice. And to make all this even better, the entire ride smells like a bakery. So not only are you spinning around shooting all these mice, but during the entire time, you're craving some delicous German baked goods. I just love it. Maus au Chocolat. A fantastic ride and one of the few I gotta thank for using the Toy Story Mania technology. And hey. Speaking of Toy Story Mania...




















Toy Story Mania @
Disneyland Resort
Anaheim, California, U.S.A

Yeah, after raving how much I loved the Toy Story Mania technology on Maus au Chocolat, I couldn't go and not include Toy Story Mania. THIS DARK RIDE KICKS MAJOR ASS!!!!!! I love it!! While one may simply look at Toy Story Mania and expect a typical shooting dark ride, but it's nothing like a shooting dark ride. I wouldn't even classify Toy Story Mania as a shooting dark ride, because just like on Maus au Chocolat, you're not shooting. The closest you ever come to shooting would be throwing darts at virtual balloons, but I don't consider that to be shooting. Now I know I've said this like a bazillion times, but Toy Story Mania is like Playing Wii Play while wearing Nerdy Glasses in a spinning office chair. Many of the games totally remind me of Wii Play Games. And yes, I really do like Wii Play. It's much better than most popular games. Because I may be crazy for thinking this, but I'd much rather play pool or race someone on a cow while jumping hurdles than stealing a car or killing someone. And even when you're not playing the games, it's still a hell of a lot of fun because when going from one screen to another, you get a lot of fun spinning action, which while not too instense for other people, is enough to make me smile and have it stand out from just boringly move, which is where the office chair comes in. The games are fun, the spinning is fun, and everyone can ride it together. Toy Story Mania. It's like playing Wii Play with Toy Story Characters in nerdy glasses while spinning around in an office char.





















Fire in the Hole & Blazing Fury @
Silver Dollar City & Dollywood
Branson, Missouri, U.S.A & Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, U.S.A

Now before I talk about these rides, let me just say this first. NEITHER of these rides count as credits. Let me emphasize that. Fire in the Hole is NOT a credit. Blazing Fury is NOT a credit. THEY ARE NOT CREDIT!S!!!! Don't listen to the sign. It is not a roller coaster. It is a dark ride. I mean, if these rides count as roller coasters just because of its drops, then Pirates of the Carribean counts as a shoot the chutes ride just because of its drops. But anyways, Fire in the Hole and Blazing Fury are really cool dark rides. I decided to rank them together as a tie since these two are practically the same ride. So it makes sense to just talk about them together as a package. It starts with getting in the cars, you then roll around the city, as if you were firefighters. Eventually fire does break out, but before you can put it out, you just shout FIRE IN THE HOLE!!!!! You then go down two drops, the second of which, manages to take you by suprise. Fire in the Hole also has a splashdown, which also takes you by suprise. I know Blazing Fury used to have this as well. But sadly, they got rid of it on that. So Fire in the Hole is technically the better ride. But it'd be stupid to exclude Forbidden Journey and to just put Blazing Fury as #8 and Fire in the Hole as #7 when they're practically the same god damn ride. It's a got a cool theme, fun drops, elements of suprise, and is a great addition to Silver Dollar City. What more do I need to say, other than FIRE IN THE HOLE!!!!!!!!!!




















Men in Black @
Universal Orlando Resort
Orlando, Florida, U.S.A

Now if you know my taste in dark rides, you'll know that I am not a big fan of shooting dark rides. They aren't really my thing and I really really suck at them. However, if there is one shooting dark ride that I like, it would be, without a doubt, Men in Black. This is much more than just your average run of the mill shooting dark ride. The aliens that you are shooting on Men in Black actually look realistic and aren't just cheap cardboard cut outs or obviously fake anamatronics, these aliens actually have a realistic look to them. That's a big help in your shooting dark ride. It also has some Toy Story Mania spinning action, so that adds more fun. (Oh, and did I mention that you cause this by shooting the other cars?) Yeah. You can't do that on Buzz, now can you. Yeah. This is without a doubt the best shooting dark ride ever, and is just a great addition to the Universal Orlando Resort. Men in Black. It's awesome, even in white.




















Transformers @
Universal Studios Hollywood
Studio City, California, U.S.A

All right. Now Transformers interesting ride. It's intersting in the main way that Transformers came about as California's answer for their lack of a Spiderman ride. Now granted, Transformers would eventually make its way to Orlando, and they'd have both rides. But due to the fact that Transformers uses the Spiderman technology, some have seen it as an alternative, and an inferior alternative. And while I will agree that Spiderman is without a doubt, the superior ride (Spoilers. It's featured down below), Transformers is still a really good ride. I mean, it's technically a simulator. But just like Spiderman, you REALLY feel motion. You REALLY feel like you're flying around. Like you're fighting the Decepticons. It's not just your seat leaning back, or tilting foreward, and all that stuff you see on simulators like Star Tours. It even has the same falling effect that Spiderman has. I think what really puts Transformers behind Spiderman is simply that...Spiderman is a much better story. Ever since Michael Bay did the Transformers movies, which were complete sh*t (and even featured robot balls), it's had a bad rep. So that's (for me at least) part of the reason I'm not as big on Transformers as I am on Spiderman. But even so. It has all this amazing technology, all this motion, and it really makes you feel like you're sucked into the world.




















Radiator Springs Racers @
Disneyland Resort
Anaheim, California, U.S.A

Ok. You knew that this was coming up. Radiator Springs Racers is the latest ride to be included in the Disneyland Resort line up, and man have we been waiting for this ride forever. Ever since I rode Test Track @ Walt Disney World, I knew that Disneyland just HAD to get some ride with the Test Track technology. They just HAD TOO!!!!! Its too good to not take advantage of at all of their parks. Well in 2012, I finally got my wish when the newest part of California Adventure opened up, Carsland, and in that new section, came the dark ride we're speaking of right now. Radiator Springs Racers. This may not be as good or as intense as Test Track, but its still a great dark ride. The whole thing is themed to Cars (least favorite Pixar movie BTW), and you're getting ready to race. But first, you get some fun action in Radiator Springs including a run in with a cop, running away from a train, and a tire change (a really nice effect I must say). Then its time to race, and sadly, its not like on Test Track where they push you to the limits and go up to 65 mph, but its still really fun and my favorite part of the ride. Definetly make sure you check it out when you're at the Disneyland Resort. Just make sure you either get your Fastpass SUPER EARLY or take advantage of the Single Riders Line. Yeah, this ride gets INSANE lines. Be warned.




















Indiana Jones @
Disneyland Resort
Anaheim, California, U.S.A

Ok. This is pretty obvious. Indiana Jones is a kickass kickass kickass dark ride. I mean, just take a good look at it. You have a a forbidden temple with demon eyes, fire, a giant snake, and a big boulder that is going to crush you to death. What the hell is anyone doing not liking this dark ride? Most dark rides just have go around the track and look at the stuff. But on Indiana Jones, nope. Not at all. Indiana Jones invented a new way for dark rides to work by inventing the Enhanced Motion Vehicle. This allowed the car to go batsh*t crazy around the course, bending on the curves, and bouncing to enhance the experience. Now while some people don't like this since it adds to roughness, I just have this to say. Grow some balls!!! If the EMV is too much for you to handle, then just stick to Small World (Ok, I wouldn't suggest that to anyone. I'm not THAT cruel). Indiana Jones. It's almost worth looking into Mara's eyes for.




















The Amazing Adventures of Spiderman @
Universal Orlando Resort
Orlando, Florida, U.S.A

Of course Spiderman made the list. I mean, if you didn't think that Spiderman would make the list, then you obviously don't know what a good dark ride is. This ride is just amazing. While it may technically be a motion simulator, it sure as hell isn't like any other motion simulator in the world. This isn't the type of motion simulator they have in museums. No no no. This is much better. Not only is it in 3D, but the ride itself is actually on a track, so that it moves as well as simulates. It's very complicated to explain. Much more so than the EVMs on Indiana Jones. But the point is that this stuff works. It really feels like motion. It feels much more motion like here than on just about any other simulator. Here, you really feel like you're climbing up a building and falling to the ground. Yeah. That actually works on Spiderman. Try having that effect on a Star Tours type of simulator, and I'd guarantee failure or else I'd do something totally insane. Spiderman is good. It's really good. Hell, I almost gave it the #1 dark ride spot. I was really debating it, but then I leaned against it. The only dark ride better than the awesomeness of Spiderman is...




















Test Track @
Walt Disney World Resort
Lake Buena Vista, Florida, U.S.A

It was really hard for me to choose which was better. Spiderman or Test Track. I eventually went with Test Track simply because I just love this ride's theme. I mean, what could possibly be a better theme than crashing cars? So yeah. Aside from just having a great theme, this dark ride doesn't really behave like any other dark ride, which always makes for a better ride. Now it doesn't just bounce or jiggle like Indiana Jones whatever Spiderman does, but it does do a lot of interesting things. It can go from being a traditional tracked dark ride, to being really rough, to randomly accelerating and decelerating. It does everything. It's smooth, rough, fast, slow, hot, and cold, all at the same time. And of course, we have the ending finale, in which we accelerate up to 65 mph and just zoom around outside. I love that. I just love that. Test Track. It does everything, and it also beats everything. Test Track. #1 Dark Ride by Incrediblecoasters Standards.



















So now I'm sure you know what you're thinking. "Wow. That was the list. That is so wrong." Well no. First of all, this list can not be entirely accurate since I haven't been on every single dark ride in the world, so until I do, this list will never truely be accurate. And new ones will be built, so technically, no list will last forever. But really, this list doesn't need to change much. Spiderman and Test Track are both considered to be some of the best dark rides on this planet by many of the most well travelled enthusiasts who have visited amusement parks around the world. While there may be some that easily replace those on the lower end of the list, I think it's safe to say that Spiderman and Test Track aren't going anywhere. And even so, this list gives props to 10 fantastic dark rides throughout the United States that just about everyone should ride sometime. Especially the Top 3. ;)